Households are changing, and more people are choosing to reduce their use of precious resources. To meet these challenges, technological innovators are working overtime to create products to serve the new, energy-efficient, space-saving, outdoor-loving, growing family.
1. Sustainability and efficiency Manufacturers and retailers are all producing affordable and practical home items that use repurposed or sustainably harvested materials. Appliances are designed to use energy and water efficiently in ways that the homeowner would never notice or find sub-par to previous appliances. Architects are following LEED guidelines to make new and renovated homes that are comfortable and beautiful with a minimum of wasted materials and energy.
2. Streamlining Fitting in with the sustainability idea are furnishings that perform multiple functions. Many families are opting for an urban lifestyle with kids, which means smaller living spaces. Some examples of double-duty furniture are cribs that transform into toddler beds and then into desks, ottomans that provide storage and seating, and adjustable tables that work for coffee or dining.
3. Multigenerational living Another way in which spaces and families are changing is by bringing more generations under one roof. Post-college kids are choosing to save money and stay home, while elderly parents are moving in with their adult children and grandchildren. This has set off a flurry of demands for additions, conversions, and a readjustment in attitudes and living spaces to make room for a few more seats at the table.
4. Artisanal elements Many homeowners are choosing one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items. A piece of furniture or pottery or even a quilt that was made by hand can give your home a feel of warmth and personal style. After all, every antique has to start somewhere.
5. Outdoor living Possibly the most exciting shift in architecture is the push to create outdoor living spaces. It’s about more than just a fancy grill and some patio furniture; outdoor kitchens can include pizza ovens, gas and electricity, and beer taps. To go along with cooking outside, many homeowners are choosing to grow their own food in raised garden beds and even fish ponds. Relaxing, socializing, and working from home are also moving outdoors. The near future is bringing changes in how we live, who we live with, and how we cook and eat. While some parts of the modern home are becoming ever more sleek and high-tech, others are showing off unique, handmade crafts. The best part of looking forward to 2013 trends? Being able to be a part of a beautiful shift towards eco-friendliness and sustainability.